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The Gene Variation That Can Impact Folate Intake

2 min read

Genes are tricky, especially when it comes to your body’s ability to efficiently utilize nutrients. One of the most common examples of this is folate, a nutrient that we all need for DNA synthesis and brain health. Because of a common genetic variation, many of us (some stats say up to one-third) have a tricky time utilizing synthetic folic acid, a form of folate common in dietary supplements. Which begs the question: How do you find an ideal form for all genetic types? Let’s get into it.

What is the MTHFR gene variation?

The MTHFR gene controls the production of an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. MTHFR enzyme helps the body process and convert folate (also known as vitamin B9). This conversion helps the body create amino acids that we need to build proteins and other essential compounds.

The caveat? With folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, this conversion process is pretty lengthy and not always efficient—especially for those with that genetic variation.*

How do I know if I have it?

To find out if you have the gene variation, you have to ask your doctor for the genetic test for MTHFR gene polymorphisms. They might also test for additional genetic changes to MTHFR and other genes that work with folate. They may also recommend genetic counseling so you can understand what the results mean.*

What kind of folate is ideal if you have the variation?

The MTHF form of folate, which we use in Ritual products, is bioavailable even if you have the MTHFR genetic variation. Ritual uses Quatrefolic, a patented form of MTHF called 6S-5-methyltetrahydrofolate glucosamine salt. The glucosamine helps stabilize the MTHF so it reaches your cells in the active form.*

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